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Avatar universal

bi polar child

My 11 year old is bipolar, has OCD and ODD as well as social anxiety. He is on Zoloft and respadone. It does not seem to be helping much. For the first few weeks it was but I do not know if he has gotten use to it or what. He is in counseling. He can snap just like that. Today he was doing homework and made a mistake. He ripped the paper up and started punching the table. When I came to help him he called me a douche bag and told me to shut up. I walked away b/c I have been told not to deal with him in this mode wait till he settles. He then yells at me to come help him. I tell him I will not until he calms down, he proceeds to call me every name in the book. I had to physically carry him to his room ( hurt my back ) where he kicked a hole in the wall. I finally go him to the bathroom turned on the cold shower and placed him in it. He screamed but then sat in the tub fully clothed and sobbed. Once he got it together he took a warm shower came down hugged me, and we continued to finish his homework.

I was able to get things under control this time b/c I was home alone with him but when my husband or 16 year old son are home they freak out and start yelling at him which in turn riles him up more and before you know it all of us are screaming at eachother.  I have been hospitalized the last month 3x for stomach problems. I know it is due to this situation.  My husband and I just went away for a week and it was AMAZING! much needed. I was so happy. I actually felt guilty for having such a good time and not really missing my child. We purposed that when we got home we would be okay with the situation but I really need some advice here on how to deal with him.
4 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Oh, I'm so very sorry.  Couple of things come to mind.  First, I think I'd sit down with your husband and older child, just the three of you and have a family meeting.  I'd discuss guidelines for dealing with your younger son.  I'd give them clear instruction and ask them to abide by it.  Get buy in.  Talk about how the situation doesn't escalate when you handle it your way and that you are able to get a response from him in the end in which he apologizes.  That he comes to you when you are calm with him and hugs you and says he is sorry is very telling.  Most kids that 'lose' it hate it as much as we do.  Being out of control like that doe snot feel good.  So, talk about this with your husband and older child and have them do their very best to follow your lead.  do it when nothing bad has recently happened.

So, what kinds of therapies have you tried with your son?  Occupational therapy can really be excellent.  They work on behavior modification as do psychologists.  Problem solving on how to handle his emotions is really critical for your son as you know.  He CAN learn better ways of expressing himself.

Now, I had a talk wtih a mom of a boy who is very much like your son recently.  She told me one of the keys to her son was being on swim team.  The work of the exercise of swimming really calmed his nervous system.  And the regular practice routine really kept him on track.  She so recommended that and I'm wondering if your boy does anything like that.

also, his medication is interesting to me.  He's on an antidepressent and an antipsychotic.  What about a medication for bipolar?  Why was the ripserdone introduced.  Just curious but I'm wondering about his drug cocktail.  Using caution with a child of his age is prudent on any prescribing docs part.  When he is older, there is a broader range of medications that might help him.  But risperidone in particular is a pretty heavy duty drug.  

Anyway, I do feel for you.  This is so hard!
Avatar universal
Thank you. I think OT would be good for him. He plays basketball and baseball but he did ask about joining the swim team come Sept. We also talked about Karate with his doctor. The antipsycotic  was introduced after they put him on Depekote and it made him even more violent. I am not very happy with the way things are going but I feel my hands are tied, We live in a very rural area and between dealing with our daughters sickness and previous marriage situations I kinda feel like I failed Josh in a way and now I am trying to make up for lost time.
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh, please do not feel like a failure.  We all do the best we can and you love your boy and are a good mother to him.  You are no failure!!  He's lucky to be so loved,

I guess I just wonder if they are treating with these antipsychotics why they aren't using a medication to address the bipolar.  It is so touchy and tricky when it comes to medication for children.  

You know that my son has a nervous system delay called sensory integration disorder.  Our OT once gave him a pillow to punch when he was having a meltdown in his session.  Some people would say that having something to punch would make someone more violent.  This is actually not true-------  it actually directs the emotion and gives them something physical to do.  You could always hang a large kick boxing bag or long punching bag for him to go at it when frustrated or angry.  Redirection of sorts of that energy but in a way that doesn't hurt anyone but helps him get it out.  I read a long autobiography from someone who described himself as a bit like your son-----  his dad hung a bag for him to punch, kick, push against and he claims it 'saved' him.  It was a work out and got all his 'stuff' out in an acceptable way.  So, that is something to think about.

I think karate is great and if has any interest in swim team--------  do it!  

See if you can get in for some OT and look for anywhere that will work on behavior modification and anger management and don't be afraid to tell the doctors if you think the medication he is on isn't helping and needs to be tweaked, removed, added to, or whatever.  Psychs often throw a lot of things at the problem looking for the right mix----  which stinks when it is your child.  However, these medications can be so different in every single person that it is hard to find the right thing for everyone without trying some different ones along the way.  Hopefully they will get that right.  

One thing risperidone is known for is working on affect.  This means that often patients become aware of 'how bad they are' which can lead to further meltdowns and depression.  Something to look out for.  And always watch for suicidal ideation.  That always worries me with near teens.  

Peace dear-----------  you are doing a great job as a mom and your boy will be okay.  hang in there.
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Lots of good ideas by specialmom.  I think that making sure your psyc know what is going on is really important.  It really is a trial and error process.
   While doing research, I stumbled on this blog.  I think you might find it helpful as it deals with bipolar issues with a ton of parental input.  I think that you might find it most useful if you start at the end and work backwards.  The parents discuss a lot of different meds and their kids reactions.  There are some cases very close to what your son is on.  The site is - http://stackjourney.blogspot.com/2010/01/giving-intuniv-in-two-daily-doses.html
    Hope this helps.  If nothing else you will notice that you are not the only one going through this.  Best wishes.
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